Memorandum on Conflict Management and Resolution in the Project Environment 1.
The current project will involve several suppliers, various cross-functional and departmental activities, interaction with different stakeholders and client groups. Ohlendorf (2001) states that this high level of interaction and possible diversities between and among these various components, attitudes and activities of the project, has a high possibility of causing conflict, at some point in time, during the course of the project. According to Werner (2012:296), conflict is best defined as a situation whereby there exist disagreements or antagonism between two or more parties emanating from differences in power, values and attitude. Once conflict arises, the project team should be well prepared to effectively manage and deal with such conflict; otherwise failure to do so will contribute significantly to the project’s failure and overall, threaten the project team’s unity, partnerships, business relationships and interpersonal synergies (Capozzoli, 1999 &Werner, 2012:296). This office memorandum seeks to highlight and discuss possible conflict that can arise during the life-span of the project in order to assist team members in conflict resolution and management. In The memorandum focuses on what a conflict is, what the potential causes or sources of conflicts in project could be, what type of conflicts there is and how best to manage and resolve them for improved project team productivity. The memorandum also gives an analysis of the positive and negative nature and effects of conflict on the overall management and success of the project. 2.
Types and Views of Conflict In the Workplace
Conflict can be described as either functional or dysfunctional. 2.1
Functional and Dysfunctional Nature of Conflict
Conflict can be functional which is productive in nature and has positive effects on the organisation and its interests and in the case of projects it will be the project’s tasks itself and the interconnections and relationships amongst those components of the project. On the other hand conflict can be dysfunctional whereby the focus is at a personal or emotional level and not the task at thereby contributing to high levels of organisational entropy or non-productivity (Kinicki &Williams, 2010:431). 2.2
To be able to effectively manage any form of conflict, project team members should identify the type of conflict that they are dealing with first. The different types of conflict depend on which human relations and networks or components of the project are involved; namely intrapersonal, interpersonal, team and intergroup conflict (Werner, 2012:296). When a project team member is having personal issues that are detrimental to their productivity then this conflict is referred to as intrapersonal conflict. The team member will be distracted and mentally pre-occupied with need to make a decision on opposing choices. Conflict can also involve two individual team members at a personal level .Such type of conflict is known as interpersonal conflict. It however has the potential to polarise the team members into two groups as they take opposing sides depending on who they support of the two members involved. At another level, there is a possibility of team conflict which occurs when there are disagreements on the overall project team objects between team members. Personality clashes and poor listening tendencies within the team are the main catalysts for this type of conflict. It is the duty of the team leaders to resolve this type of conflict; however this is only possible if they are also not directly involved in the conflict. If the team leaders are involved then it is advisable that the issue is escalated and an independent and neutral facilitator is engaged to ensure impartiality and transparency. When two teams or groups are in in conflict with each other, it is referred to as intergroup conflict .This...
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